The particles of upper clouds are ice crystals with various sizes and shapes. Under certain conditions they can be oriented in space. This circumstance leads to the significant anisotropy of light in cirrus clouds that should be taken into account when solving problems of radiation propagation through the atmosphere.
Acquiring the information on parameters of particle orientation in ensembles of actual clouds is still an urgent and poorly studied problem. In this connection, we have developed a lidar technique for measuring the backscattering phase matrices (BSPM) that enables one to acquire such information.
Based on processing of 450 experimentally measured BSPMs we have drawn the following conclusions:
- in 90 to 95 % cases the orientation of the larger diameters of particles along the azimuth direction was observed, though in 70% of these cases the orientation was only weakly pronounced against the background of particles that had no preferred orientation in the azimuth plane. However, the backscattering coefficients for linearly polarized light can strongly depend on the orientation of the polarization plane.
- the larger diameters of particles practically always lied in the horizontal plane, and in 50% cases the degree of this orientation should be recognized essential. The latter means that the extinction coefficient of such clouds should strongly depend on the angle of radiation incidence on the cloud layer.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.